Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro came down heavily on media for sparking “sense of dread” and “hysteria” over the novel coronavirus pandemic. In his four-and-a-half-minute televised speech, Bolsonaro criticised authorities including governors and mayors for adopting the measures suggested by the World Health Organisation like social distancing and self-quarantine.
Downplaying the gravity of the situation, the Brazilian leader questioned the decision to close schools and imposing restriction on transport services. He said that the threat of virus will shortly pass and the life will go on, so the jobs should be maintained. "What we've seen in the world is that the risk group is people over 60 years old. So why close schools?" he asked.
Brazil has reported 2,271 confirmed cases of coronavirus with 47 deaths but the Brazilian President is of the opinion that media is creating “hysteria” around the pandemic. Bolsonaro is one of the rare leaders around the world who is against stringent measures to combat the coronavirus crisis.
Earlier, Bolsonaro had called COVID-19 a “fantasy” and then went to a rally and shook hands with supporters which drew severe criticism. Calling it a “little flu” during the address, the Brazilian President said, “In my particular case, with my history as an athlete, if I were infected by the virus, I wouldn’t need to worry.”
Meanwhile, countries around the world have started taking stringent measures including complete lockdown to combat the pandemic. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a three-week lockdown with effect from March 25 across the country and urged everyone not to venture outside if not necessary.
The Prime Minister highlighted that it took 67 days for the number of COVID-19 affected persons to reach 1 lakh and in the next 11 days the next 1 lakh got affected and in just 4 days later it infected the next 1 lakh population. He added that the Central Government is working relentlessly towards the eradication of coronavirus and has allocated Rs 15000 crores to the healthcare system.